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5 unforgettable destinations to discover in Scotland

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Scotland is home to some of the most striking landscapes to visit all year round in the UK | Photo: Paul Chambers

Scotland, a land of breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a captivating destination that beckons travellers from around the world, and a fond favourite for people travelling in the UK.

Having personally explored some of Scotland’s wonders myself and wholeheartedly recommending it, I can attest to its undeniable allure. Scotland offers unforgettable destinations, showcasing its enchanting beauty and storied history.

Here are 5 unforgettable destinations you could include in your itinerary:

Edinburgh Castle | Photo: Jörg Angeli

Edinburgh Castle

Explore the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a volcanic rock in the heart of Scotland’s capital. Step back in time as you wander through its ancient halls, uncovering centuries of history and enjoying panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss the One O’clock Gun, a tradition dating back to 1861 when a cannon is fired every day except Sundays.

Isle of Skye, Scotland | Photo: Mark Dickson

Isle of Skye

Head to the Isle of Skye, a picturesque island in the Inner Hebrides. Known for its rugged landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and fairy-tale-like castles, Skye offers breathtaking scenery at every turn. Visit the iconic Old Man of Storr, explore the enchanting Fairy Pools, and take in the majestic beauty of the Cuillin Mountains.

Loch Ness, Scotland | Photo: Tallie Robinson

Loch Ness

Embark on a journey to Loch Ness, Scotland’s most famous lake, renowned for its legendary monster, Nessie. Cruise along the dark waters, keeping an eye out for any mysterious ripples, and visit the historic Urquhart Castle that overlooks the Loch. Whether or not you spot the elusive creature, the beauty of the surrounding Highlands will leave you awe-inspired.

Glen Coe, Scotland | Photo: Ian Cylkowski

Glen Coe

Discover the stunning Glen Coe, a breathtaking valley nestled in the Scottish Highlands. Known for its dramatic mountain scenery, Glen Coe offers an outdoor paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Lace-up your boots and traverse the famous Three Sisters, a trio of towering peaks, or simply soak in the awe-inspiring vistas and the sense of tranquillity that surrounds you.

Isle of Mull, Scotland | Photo: Jeremy Boley

Take a ferry to the Isle of Mull, where pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and charming villages await. Explore the colourful waterfront of Tobermory, known for its vibrant buildings, or embark on a wildlife safari to spot majestic creatures such as white-tailed eagles, seals, and whales. The Isle of Mull is a true gem for nature lovers.

In addition to these incredible destinations, I’ve had the pleasure to also visit Oban and Loch Lomond in Scotland, which are equally beautiful. Oban captivates visitors with its picturesque harbour, fresh seafood, and the iconic McCaig’s Tower, while Loch Lomond boasts stunning scenery with its tranquil waters and majestic mountains. So, if you’re travelling in Europe, there are countless things to see and do in Scotland, from visiting historic castles and breathtaking lochs to rugged islands and picturesque valleys, Scotland offers a diverse range of experiences that will captivate any traveller.

With its rich heritage and stunning landscapes, exploring Scotland is a must for those seeking unforgettable adventures. I’d highly recommend embarking on a journey through this enchanting country and allowing Scotland to mesmerise you.

Freelance copywriter living in picturesque Hertfordshire. When she's not busy crafting compelling copy, Louise Wright is an expert in the art of getting lost while travelling, creating her own unforgettable adventures.

Travel

Baros Maldives appoints new PR agency in the UK

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Baros Maldives appoints new PR Agency in the UK
Maldives is experiencing a significant increase in tourism and celebrated a record 12% increase in arrivals last year

Global independent marketing and communications agency, FINN Partners, has been appointed by Baros Maldives and Milaidhoo Maldives to lead on PR and digital services, in the United Kingdom.

FINN Partners communications strategy will focus on tactics that will generate coverage and awareness to showcase the independent, locally and family-owned properties, highlighting what sets them apart from other resorts in the Maldives. 

“With the UK being an important market for us, we look forward to working with FINN Partners to help build brand awareness in the UK for both Baros and Milaidhoo Maldives, by bringing to life the uniqueness of each property and what sets both resorts apart from other luxury resorts in the Maldives,” says Visha Mahir, Chief Operating Officer at Universal Resorts Management.

Maldives is home to 176 resorts and over 800 guesthouses. According to  the Ministry of Tourism, the country is experiencing a significant increase in tourism and celebrated a record 12% increase in arrivals last year.

“Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it’s an honour to be representing Baros Maldives, ‘The Maldives Icon’. We very much look forward to communicating the private island resorts truly authentic Maldivian offerings to media. We are also excited to showcase how Milaidhoo Maldives, set in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, embraces a contemporary way of living the Maldivian heritage and culture complemented by a wide range of curated meaningful experiences on offer to guests in addition to exceptional cuisine, personalised service, and attention to detail,” says Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner and Global Travel Practice Leader, FINN Partners.

The FINN Partners UK Travel portfolio also includes destinations such as Italy, Greater Palm Springs, The Bahamas and brands including Travelzoo, Intrepid and Accor. 

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Searches for ‘quiet life’ soars by 530%

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a female solo traveler in a mountain trip
The quest for a more serene lifestyle is on the rise, a recent report by Pinterest reveals | Photo: Artur Voznenko

Searches for enigmatic destinations are rising as travellers crave places promising a blend of wonder, adventure and the unexplored, according to a recent Pinterest Summer 2024 Travel Report.

With over one billion travel-related searches and over 10 billion travel saves in one year, the platform has become a source of inspiration for those planning a future trip.

8 out of 10 weekly Pinterest users turn to Pinterest when planning their summer escapades. Since last year, searches for ‘travel vision board’ and ‘packing guide’ have skyrocketed by 210% and 480% respectively as travellers curate their bucket lists and gear up for unforgettable journeys. 

However travellers are not looking only for adventurous things to do while on vacation.

The quest for a quieter, more serene lifestyle is on the rise, with searches for ‘quiet life’ soaring by 530% according to a report by Pinterest. As the longing for simplicity has extended to travel, since 2023, searches for ‘quiet places’ and ‘calm places’ have increased by 50% and 42% respectively. Pinners are searching for digital detox travel: many sought-after nature destinations offer a respite from the constant buzz of connectivity and digital distractions, providing a much-needed break. Solo travel emerges as a liberating choice, granting individuals the freedom to craft their itinerary, pace and priorities without compromise. Whether basking in the tranquillity of a secluded beach or meandering through serene countryside landscapes, these experiences contribute to self-care and overall well-being. Increase in specific searches include solo travel (up +35%), glamping aesthetic (+260%), Cabin in the mountains (+180%), Village vibes (+145%), Island life (+30%), and searches for national parks, which increased +250% since last year.

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Britons holidaying abroad are getting more value for money

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A elderly British couple holidaying abroad.
Sterling has strengthened in value against 21 popular currencies over the past 12 months | Photo: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

Strong currency performance puts more cash in pockets of Britons holidaying abroad

Rising rates for sterling mean holidaymakers can look forward to getting more for their money in the vast majority of holiday destinations this year, according to new exchange rate analysis by Post Office Travel Money for its regular Holiday Money Index survey of currency rates and sales trends.

Sterling has strengthened in value against 21 of Post Office Travel Money’s 25 bestselling holiday currencies over the past 12 months but the amount by which Britons can hope to benefit varies quite significantly from one destination to another. While Britons can expect to receive 3.8 per cent more than a year ago when changing their pounds into euros and 5.5 per cent more US dollars, they will get far more for their money when visiting Turkey, Kenya and Japan.

The Exchange Rate Monitor, published as part of the Holiday Money Index, reveals that Britons visiting Turkey will currently get around 73 per cent more liras for the pounds than a year ago – the equivalent of almost £211 extra on a £500 currency purchase. This rises to 113.5 per cent – or £266 extra – over two years.

Sterling has also gained almost 21 per cent in value against the Kenyan shilling and 15.7 per cent against the Japanese yen compared with a year ago. Although the dramatic fall in value of the Egyptian pound reported in last year’s Holiday Money Index has bottomed out, it is still 6.3 per cent weaker than last March. Cumulatively, this means visitors will receive around £234 (88 per cent) more on a £500 currency transaction now than two years ago.

There have also been sizeable sterling gains against the currencies for a trio of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers – Prague (Czech Republic: +12.7 per cent), Thailand (Thai baht: +9.9 per cent) and South Africa (South African rand: +9.2 per cent), while Britons visiting friends and family in Australia will get 8.5 per cent more holiday cash for their pounds.

Only four currencies – the Polish zloty, Mexican peso, Costa Rican colon and Swiss franc – have gained ground against sterling. The pound’s biggest fall of 4.3 per cent year-on-year has been against the Polish zloty, although this is eclipsed by two year losses of over 20 per cent against the Costa Rican colon and Mexican peso.

Sterling’s current buoyancy against most leading holiday currencies – including the euro and US dollar – provides a great incentive for Britons considering trips abroad in the coming months. Most currencies have weakened against the pound in the past year, and many of these are for destinations that traditionally offer the cheapest prices for meals, drinks and other tourist staples. Good examples of this range from Turkey and the Czech Republic in Europe to Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam further afield,” says Laura Plunkett, Head of Travel Money at Post Office.

The latest analysis of currency sales by Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one-in-four of all UK foreign exchange transactions, reveals that sales of 16 of its 20 bestselling currencies have risen over the past 12 months (February 2023-January 2024). It also observes that many of these currencies are continuing to show marked growth in 2024 to date.

Reviewing sales for January 2024, Post Office Travel Money reports that Caribbean currencies have seen the most dramatic year-on-year growth among its 20 bestselling currencies. In particular, it found that East Caribbean and Barbados dollar purchases rocketed by 103 per cent and 64 per cent respectively in January – outperforming growth levels by rival destinations in the Far East.

However, taking at the year as whole, seven Far Eastern currencies dominate the top 10 chart of Post Office Travel Money’s currencies showing the greatest levels of growth. The biggest percentage sales increase was for the Chinese yuan, which recorded a spectacular 573 per cent year-on-year rise, albeit against very low sales the previous year when visits to China were off limits.

The euro and US dollar remain by far the most popular holiday currencies, topping the chart for the past year as they have consistently done – and a sales increase of nine per cent in January made the euro the 10th fastest growing currency for that month.

Demand for aspirational destinations is also particularly strong. Both the Australian dollar, third in the Post Office bestsellers top 10, and New Zealand dollar, ninth in the table, have built on the exceptional currency growth seen a year ago when Australia and New Zealand re-opened to international visitors.

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